Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born of God,(A) and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him. This is how we know that we love God’s children when we love God and obey[a] His commands. For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden,(B) because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. And who is the one who conquers the world(C) but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?(D)

The Certainty of God’s Testimony

Jesus Christ—He is the One who came by water and blood, not by water only, but by water(E) and by blood.(F) And the Spirit is the One who testifies,(G) because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify:[b](H) the Spirit,(I) the water, and the blood(J)—and these three are in agreement. If we accept the testimony of men, God’s testimony(K) is greater, because it is God’s testimony that He has given about His Son. 10 (The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him. The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar,(L) because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about His Son.) 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

12 The one who has the Son has life.(M) The one who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name(N) of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Effective Prayer

14 Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask(O) anything according to His will, He hears us.(P) 15 And if we know that He hears whatever we ask,(Q) we know that we have what we have asked Him for.(R)

16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not bring death, he should ask, and God[c] will give life to him—to those who commit sin that doesn’t bring death. There is sin[d] that brings death. I am not saying he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin that does not bring death.

Conclusion

18 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not sin, but the One[e] who is born of God keeps him,[f][g](S) and the evil one does not touch him.

19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come(T) and has given us understanding so that we may know the true One.[h] We are in the true One—that is, in His Son Jesus Christ.(U) He is the true God and eternal life.

21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

Footnotes

  1. 1 John 5:2 Other mss read keep
  2. 1 John 5:7 Other mss (Vg and a few late Gk mss) read testify in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One. And there are three who bear witness on earth:
  3. 1 John 5:16 Lit He
  4. 1 John 5:16 Or is a sin
  5. 1 John 5:18 Jesus Christ
  6. 1 John 5:18 Other mss read himself
  7. 1 John 5:18 Or the one who is born of God keeps himself
  8. 1 John 5:20 Other mss read the true God

Faith in the Incarnate Son of God

Everyone who believes(A) that Jesus is the Christ(B) is born of God,(C) and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.(D) This is how we know(E) that we love the children of God:(F) by loving God and carrying out his commands. In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.(G) And his commands are not burdensome,(H) for everyone born of God(I) overcomes(J) the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.(K)

This is the one who came by water and blood(L)—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.(M) For there are three(N) that testify: the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony,(O) but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God,(P) which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony.(Q) Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar,(R) because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life,(S) and this life is in his Son.(T) 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.(U)

Concluding Affirmations

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God(V) so that you may know that you have eternal life.(W) 14 This is the confidence(X) we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.(Y) 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know(Z) that we have what we asked of him.(AA)

16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life.(AB) I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death.(AC) I am not saying that you should pray about that.(AD) 17 All wrongdoing is sin,(AE) and there is sin that does not lead to death.(AF)

18 We know that anyone born of God(AG) does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one(AH) cannot harm them.(AI) 19 We know that we are children of God,(AJ) and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.(AK) 20 We know also that the Son of God has come(AL) and has given us understanding,(AM) so that we may know him who is true.(AN) And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.(AO)

21 Dear children,(AP) keep yourselves from idols.(AQ)

Footnotes

  1. 1 John 5:8 Late manuscripts of the Vulgate testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that testify on earth: the (not found in any Greek manuscript before the fourteenth century)

Bible Gateway Sponsors